Norfolk’s Katherine Rednall has made history by becoming the first women to reach the quarter-final of the World Indoor Singles Championship at Potters Resort.
Our Commonwealth Games star defeated six-time champion Alex Marshall MBE to secure her place in the last eight.
Katherine showed her drawing strength throughout the match, regularly putting Marshall under pressure, to secure a 7-5 victory in the first set.
The 25-year-old, who is competing at almost eight months pregnant, kept toe-to-toe with Marshall in the second set, before winning the crucial ninth end to draw the set 5-5 and record an historic victory.
Talking exclusively to us following the win, 25-year-old Katherine said: “To beat Alex and reach the quarter-finals of the Open Singles feels absolutely incredible.
“It’s been a tough time for everyone over the past 12 months in particular, but we’ve been very fortunate to have the opportunity to showcase our sport live on television this week.
“We are very privileged that bowls is achievable for people who, like myself, would be unable to compete in other sports in my current situation.”
With just over 30-minutes rest, Katherine returned to the portable rink to face Wales’ Laura Daniels in the Women’s Singles final, a repeat of the 2015 showpiece.
Katherine was dominant in the first set, winning it 12-4, before Laura showed true character to bounce back and force a tie-break. Some great opening bowls by Laura in the tie-break gave her the advantage and was paramount to regaining the title that she last won six years ago.
“It was naturally disappointing to not get over the line in the Women’s Singles final against Laura, but I will put that behind me and look forward to playing against David [Gourley] in the next round of the Open Singles,” Katherine added.
“I hope that my success can act as a springboard to promoting bowls and signifies for people who are less inclined to play sport, whether it be because of age, physical ability, inequality or other barriers, can enjoy the many associated physical and mental benefits that bowls has to offer.
“I have everything crossed for a normal 2021 season, when hopefully we will be able to enjoy bowls in a safe, friendly and socially-distanced environment, whilst also providing current bowlers the opportunity to introduce friends and family.”
Our High Performance Manager, John McGuinness, was full of praise for Katherine following her performances at the Championships.
“Katherine’s record-breaking success in the open singles is truly phenomenal, and to be competing whilst being almost eight months’ pregnant shows great determination to achieve at the highest level,” he said.
“I have watched the performances of our elite players with interest, as well as competitors from other countries and have been proud at how our players have committed themselves in the unusual circumstances.
“The World Indoor Championships provide great opportunity to be a catalyst for our sport, with many people currently working remotely and potentially coming across our sport for the first time.
“The home Commonwealth Games next year is an incredibly opportunity for us to look forward to and to showcase the best that we have to offer, with the BBC as the domestic broadcast rights holder for the Games.”
Inspired by Katherine, and want to try your hand at the sport? Plans are already underway for a national recruitment initiative over the Spring Bank Holiday of the 2021 season (Friday 28th to Monday 31st May). To make sure you receive further information about the National Open Weekend straight to your inbox, sign-up to receive our newsletter.
The lawn bowls event for the 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa, between Friday 29th July and Saturday 6th August.
You can check out the profiles of all 16 members of our Commonwealth Games squad here.